Tokyo producer Toshio Matsuura has announced LOVEPLAYDANCE: 8 Scenes From The Floor, a new cover project that features Tom Skinner as its musical director, and some of London's most exciting new musicians.
A co-founder of Japan’s United Future Organisation (a.k.a U.F.O.), this new record sees Matsuura reconnect with longstanding friend and collaborator Gilles Peterson. Releasing the album via Peterson's Brownswood Recordings in the UK, it’s a continuation of a relationship which started as a bridge between London’s then-blossoming jazz scene and Tokyo’s new musical vanguard of the early ‘90s. This album is said to continue that "two-way dialogue between Japan and the UK."
The project is focused on covers, putting classic or influential tracks in a new context, spanning a cross-section of Matsuura’s taste. On "Black Gold of the Sun," Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena fronts a new take on the Rotary Connection classic, along with a band— guided by Tom Skinner—that features her prodigious Havana-based players. Elsewhere, Byron Morris and Unity’s "Kitty Bey," a Dingwalls classic, is knocked into a tight, high energy new shape (by a band that includes Yussef Dayes, Yazz Ahmed, and Nubya Garcia.)
The scope of the music reflects the breadth of Matsuura’s interests. It ranges from Bugges Wesseltoft’s Detroit-influenced, dancefloor-minded jazz, stretched out into a more meditative contemplation, to Flying Lotus’ LA-rooted, Brainfeeder beat-making, translated from laptop-to-live, given a new, equally idiosyncratic lease of life. Elsewhere, Carl Craig’s iconic "At Les" is taken in a looser direction.
They’re touchpoints which hint at interests in the different, diffuse corners of electronic music, and how they connect to jazz and improvisation. Coming to this project from the perspective of a DJ, producer, and curator, it’s an album that "shows his grasp of the bigger picture," the label explains. This album shows him finding the threads which connect those different scenes together, exploring a to-and-fro—between live played instruments, and the possibilities found in laptops and samplers—which has long been a backdrop to music aimed at dancefloors.
02. High Noon
03. L.M. II
04. I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun
05. Kitty Bey
06. Brown Paper Bag
07. Do The Astral Plane
08. At Les
LOVEPLAYDANCE: 8 Scenes From The Floor is scheduled for April 6 release via Brownswood Recordings.